Tulsa Family Shares COVID-19 Concerns For People With Low Immune Systems

Tuesday, July 27th 2021, 9:17 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The family of a Tulsa man wants to share his battle with COVID-19, in hopes that more people will get vaccinated. 

His daughter, who is a doctor, said he was vaccinated, but he is immunocompromised and ended up in the hospital. 

Jerry Bauman was in the hospital twice because of COVID-19 complications, but his family said if it wasn't for having the vaccine, they think he wouldn't be here.

Valerie McKinnis said her dad Jerry Bauman got vaccinated earlier this year.

"He was excited to get his COVID vaccine because he was very, very worried, especially during the surges in November and December about getting COVID," McKinnis said. 

McKinnis said her dad has rheumatoid arthritis, and because of his low immune system, he ended up getting the virus after being exposed. 

"I think the difficulty is that you don't walk through the world knowing who has been vaccinated and who has not been vaccinated," McKinnis said. 

McKinnis said he was in the hospital for a week with severe covid pneumonia, and then readmitted for a collapsed lung. 

McKinnis is a doctor in Colorado and has been working with COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. She came to Tulsa to help take care of her dad.

"It feels really personal right? I'm always very involved with my patients and deeply impacted by their experience and suddenly, I think for most of us, everything becomes more real when someone we love deeply becomes ill with the virus," McKinnis said. 

McKinnis said as a doctor, she wants to stress that the vaccine is effective, and she thinks the vaccine saved her dad's life. 

"I really believe had he not been vaccinated and had some degree of an immune response to the vaccine he would be dead," McKinnis said. 

The most recent report from the Oklahoma State Department of Health said 40 percent of Oklahomans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.